“Stopped in to a church I passed along the way
Well I got down on my knees
And I pretend to pray
You know the preacher likes the cold
He knows I’m gonna stay
California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day”
— Mamas and the Papas
This tour is the third leg in the pursuit of my goal to cycle unsupported around the American perimeter. My two previous journeys took me from Austin Texas westward to San Diego California and the Pacific Ocean. So far, I have covered 1580 miles, crossed 4 states (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California), and have already had experiences that will last a lifetime. While I love my home in Austin Texas, my family and my friends, I find myself routinely anticipating what the next 10 mph journey on the open road will bring.
This trip will actually commence in San Francisco and head South down the legendary Pacific Coast Highway all the way to the U.S./Mexico border at Imperial Beach. Originally, I had intended to pick back up in San Diego and go North, but prevailing winds along the west coast are typically North-to-South, and I’d like to minimize that particular meteorologic torture as much as possible. If I’m calculating correctly, the distance should be around 650 miles and I will be in the saddle for approximately 13 days. I’ll be passing through quintessential California coastal towns like Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Santa Monica, La Jolla, and Coronado Island. Wow! Just Wow! I would mention that my only concern about this route, having spoken to numerous experienced adventure cyclists, are the hills. While not exactly mountainous terrain, the significant hills on much of the route are right along the coastline, and are a constant.
My intent is to camp just about every night along the way. Campgrounds are plentiful along the route, and most of them tend to be considerate of through hikers/cyclists, meaning they will accommodate cyclists arriving late and leaving early, as long as there is a spare piece of turf to pitch a tent.
And now, for the Mamas and the Papas. I’ve always loved this song, and found it quite fitting, given the brutal cold suffered by so many Americans this winter. Count me among the many “California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day”……..
It’s All Good.